Super Junior’s Vocal Analysis: Yesung (English)

yesung

Vocal Range

G2 ~ G#5 (3 Octaves and 1 Semitone)

Supported Range

C3 ~ G#4/A4

Voice Type

Light Lyric Tenor (Arguable)

Strengths/Achievements

  • Third strongest vocalist in Super Junior
  • Consistently able to produce resonance in his mixed voice
  • Support is consistent up until G#4/A4
  • Has been able to produce a connected head voice up to G5
  • Supports voice down to C3 consistently
  • Good control of dynamics and vocal effects
  • Improvement from debut until now

Weaknesses

  • Vocal runs are often sloppy and lack a clear musical idea
  • Resonance can be pushed
  • Overly chesty-mix, lacks freedom and sounds throaty
  • Voice can get whiny at times
  • Head voice can sound tight and not well supported
  • Mostly uses a throaty husky falsetto
  • Notes below C3 are produced with vocal fry at times
  • Jaw tension when using vibrato

Registers

  • Lower register: Somewhat well supported, connection between the vocal cords is often present and the tone produced has projection, but sometimes due to stylistic reasons, it can become muffled and unclear. Below C3, the voice generally sounds quieter and a lot more vocal fry is used to generate tone in that range.
  • Mixed register: Very consistent resonance up to G4/G#4 and support is present up to A4, with occasional resonance. Sometimes can strain within his supported range due to pushing and an overly chest-dominant mixed voice, which hinders his mixed range above A4, often sounding shouty and constricted.
  • Upper extension: Not used as often as necessary, often opting for a belt in place of a falsetto or head voice note. A head voice is present but isn’t consistently used and lacks support and openness. The falsetto register is used more often and often sounds scratchy and husky.

Agility

Possessing a voice that carries a lot of weight, for one to have flexibility and agility, it would be hard to sing through challenging quick passages when singing with more weight than normal, just like running with more weight causes the body to go slower, carrying up too much weight in the mix voice can cause a similar effect. Due to the fact that Yesung’s voice carries a lot of chest voice up in his mixed voice, it hinders his flexibility and ability to fully allow freedom into his vocal ornaments. When he does very quick and subtle trills between notes, Yesung is able to create the proper bouncing technique to differentiate and separate his notes properly, for an example “Paper Gray“, however when it comes to slightly more elaborate runs, his voice becomes slow and the result is usually sloppy runs where the accuracy for each note to be hit isn’t present anymore, such as in “Polaris“, “해줄 수 없는 일” and “가슴아파도“.

Overall analysis

Debuting as the main vocalist of Super Junior in 2005 alongside Ryeowook, later joined by Kyuhyun and forming Super Junior KRY, amongst other sub-units, Yesung is a highly acclaimed and well praised vocalist in the idol world. Possessing a more husky and heavier tone than usual, his voice can often be highly appealing and create a sense of effort and emotions to a degree that generally pleases the audience and his fans. Possessing a heavily chest-dominant mixed voice but a somewhat high tessitura, Yesung’s vocal fach has always been a reason for discussion amongst vocal peers due to its ambiguity in both tone and quality. Due to how much chest voice it’s present in his mixed voice, it is possible that he could turn out to be a heavier or lighter voice type with proper training but for the purpose of this analysis, Yesung would most likely better be classified as a light lyric tenor due to the higher tessitura he sings in most of the time, as well as general repertoire and overall ease he possesses in the tenor range, compared to a baritone or heavier tenor voice.

The lower part of his chest has a somewhat well developed sound, with connection of the vocal cords and presence of projection. However so, there’s a lack of clarity of tone due to a husky stylistic approach present in Yesung’s singing, that may at times hinder the full tone and projection of his lower range and cause a more muffled sound to come through. He is nonetheless able to produce well supported notes down to C3, such as the C3’s and D3’s in “한남자“, C#3’s in “서시” and D3’s in “I Do“. Whenever Yesung descends below C3, however, there’s a considerable drop in chest voice tone to his lower range and an excessive use of a thicker vocal fry-like quality, mixed in with his chest voice, causing the tone to sound less natural and less connected than in the third octave. This also is influenced by a less connected chest voice and vocal cords, creating a less true tone to his original chest voice, even though he’s still able to project well into the second octave down to G2, such as the G2’s in “한남자” and Bb2’s and A2’s “We Can“, but at other times when not adding the vocal fry, his voice generally becomes airy and unclear such as the Bb2 in “체념“.

The higher part of his range is where Yesung likes to sing the most even avoiding transitions into his falsetto, but is also where he shows the most issues vocally. Although having a very consistent column of sound and resonance up until G4 and G#4, such as the F#4’s in “인형” and “사랑밖에 난 몰라” and G#4’s in “LaLaLa Love Song“, “I Do” and even more recently in the 2015 KRY Concert with “광환문에서“, Yesung’s mix still lacks the necessary freedom and lightness it would naturally need in order for him to be able to take on the higher challenging parts of songs for a longer period of time. Even though pushed resonance has been achieved with consistent support up until A4 in songs like “사랑할수록“, at other times the distortion caused by the excessive pushing of chest in his mix can create a less resonant and more pushed sound in other performances of the same song. This distortion doesn’t necessarily take away from his health as much as it takes away from his resonance and optimum freedom in sound. The issue with his mixed voice is that Yesung’s mixed voice is often pushed and cause him to have a lot of vocal tension and be vocally fatigued quite easily due to the excessive effort made by his throat, as opposed to a healthier diaphragmatic approach, something that has improved overtime without doubt if contrasting his current singing in his mixed voice with his earlier singing such as in 2006, with the G4’s in “자유롭게 날 수 있도록” and “기도“.

Although improvement has been noted in his mixed voice over the years and he has been able to create more freedom and use a less heavy approach to his mixed voice up to A4, there is still a considerable amount of strain and shouting in the upper part of his mixed voice. Instead of lightening up his mix as he ascends into the top of his range, Yesung uses a harder approach in his mix by pushing his chest voice as far as possible without properly blending his head voice into his mixed voice to create a brighter and more relaxed sound, such as the Bb4 in “이별 참 나답다” and the B4’s in “널 기다리며” and “한 사람만을 (The One I Love)“. There have also been issues with consistency in his range around G#4/A4 such as in “너 아니면 안돼“, due to reasons perhaps related to vocal health or the fact that he’s singing in a more closed vowel with a closed throat shape. Oftentimes due to the pushing in his throat and chest voice, Yesung’s mixed voice can sound not only yelled, but also constricted and blocked with a somewhat strangled quality due to the excessive tension present in it. Nonetheless he still possesses one of the most consistent and resonant mixed voices amongst idol male vocalists up to A4.

His falsetto register is often not used and is not highlighted in his singing. He has shown that even in song covers where the original artist may transition into their upper register, Yesung will instead belt out the higher notes to perhaps dodge sloppy transitions into his falsetto, such as in “그 아픔까지 사랑한거야“. Yesung has shown in the past that he is able to produce a controlled and well connected head voice, such as in “한 사람만을 (The One I Love)“, even up to G5, but that ability isn’t often explored as his use of head voice is inconsistent, not to mention that the head voice may be connected, but still lacks freedom in the vocal tract shape and thus isn’t supported and sounds tight and small. Most of the time, Yesung sings with a more falsetto sound in his upper range, with a slightly husky and disconnected throaty quality to it, such as in “Gray Paper” and “너 아니면 안돼“.

Yesung’s rock style can often cause him to opt for a more throaty quality in singing style but also allows for him to fully engage his audience by using the correct use of his husky voice to create a genuine vocal performance within the rock genre. When it comes to a more R&B style approach to his singing, Yesung’s voice shows a strong influence from one of SM’s composers, Yoo Youngjin and takes on his trademark sound with loose vocal runs and a mellower closed sound such as in “From U“. At times his voice can become tense and he can have some jaw tension when singing with a vibrato and he at times has issues keeping a consistently lifted soft palate, all of which are issues that may be caused by a stylistic approach to his singing. He still possesses a very good ear for dynamic approaches even if technically he may not be able to correctly control crescendos and diminuendos in his mixed voice due to a lack of blending in his mixed voice to allow a brighter and lighter mixed voice.

Currently in August 2015, the approach with which Yesung uses on his voice and technique has taken a toll on his singing and he is suffering from vocal nodules. The vocal nodules themselves haven’t exactly hindered his vocal ability for the time being but can be a major issue in the long run if he doesn’t change his vocal habits and doesn’t find healthier approaches to his voice in general, as well as healthier practicing habits and resting. He is a vocalist with a distinctive sound and a very popular singing style who has the potential to go far as a solo artist, but should really consider improving his mixed voice and head voice in order to create a brighter approach to his voice so that he can take on more challenging songs without causing as much strain to his voice. Differently from Ryeowook or Kyuhyun, Yesung doesn’t respect his vocal limits well enough and thus often sings outside his supported range, causing his voice damage, which could potentially become permanent. By adopting a less heavy and pushed technique to his singing, he could develop his voice further into its full potential and avoid any sort of vocal health issues in the future.

Musicianship

Genre wise and stylistically speaking, Yesung is more centered towards a Rock style of music, hence adding random adlibs, runs and overly excessive high or low notes isn’t exactly his approach to covering songs. He generally sticks to the root of doing the song justice by singing as the original vocalist would, which leaves a lot of room for comparison but also gives him the freedom to concentrate on the more interpretative side of his vocal performances. Occasionally and due to vocal issues, Yesung has shown that he is willing to change the melody of songs around in order to avoid vocal issues, such as in more recent performances of “한사람만을 (The One I Love)” where Yesung dodges the B4 in the bridge with a downward run, in order to save his voice from the vocal strain by adding his own different melody to the song.

Rating

Competent Vocalist

Vocal Range Video(s)

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Credits:

Analyzed by  Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

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